Big Bang Comics

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Cover of the first series trade paperback

Big Bang Comics first appeared in 1994, with five issue mini-series (numbered 1–4 and 0), published by Caliber Comics. Their second series was published by Image Comics. Currently their titles are self-published.

Publication history[edit]

Gary Carlson's first major independent comic occurred in the 1980s with a black and white title called Megaton. Erik Larsen's Savage Dragon, Rob Liefeld's Youngblood both debuted in Megaton. In the 1990s Carlson wrote Berzerker for Caliber Press; one of the first canonical appearances of a Big Bang Comics character was by the Knight Watchman in Berzerker #1. Gary co-created the Big Bang anthology series alongside artist and writer Chris Ecker.

Until 2005, Big Bang published 35 issues of Big Bang through Image Comics, followed by seven "special" comics.

The company is currently self-publishing Big Bang Presents. Like its predecessors published through Caliber and Image, this is an anthology series featuring a rotating cast of new and established characters in the Big Bang universe, written by Carlson and drawn by Ecker and various other artists.

Influences[edit]

The Big Bang Comics titles are designed to be homages to Golden Age and Silver Age comic books. Most stories in the anthologies take place in one of these two ages; Earth-A stories take place in the 1960s, and Earth-B stories take place in the 1940s with characters like Ultiman, Thunder Girl and Doctor Weird.

One of Dr. Weird's earliest collected appearances was in the 1977, Al Greim published Comic Crusader Storybook #1, in a story by Howard Keltner and Dennis Fujitake. The Comic Crusader Storybook was a trade paperback fanzine anthology which included short stories featuring the work of many independent artists and writers.

Metafictional imprints[edit]

In the world of Big Bang Comics, several false imprints were thought up that supposedly existed in the Golden Age and the Silver Age, to give more depth to their characters (a ploy later used in Amalgam Comics).

All of these false covers appeared on the reverse of the Caliber Press miniseries issues in scaled-down shots, and again as full-page replicas in Big Bang #0.

Title Description
Deductive Comics A tribute to Detective Comics, right down to the lettering. This is supposedly where Knight Watchman entered the Big Bang world along with his sidekick, Kid Galahad.
Hi Octane Comics The supposed introduction of Ultiman. However, this was simply a retitled cover of Big Bang #2 of Caliber Press, using the lettering style of Action Comics.
Jolt Comics The introduction of the Golden-Age Blitz (Mack Snelling). A tribute to Flash Comics.
Policeman Comics The supposed starting point of Protoplasman, inspired by Police Comics where Plastic Man began his superhero career.
Quantity Comics Mentioned as being the umbrella-group for Policeman Comics. This itself is a pastiche of the Golden Age Quality Comics.
Red Hot Comics A comic that starred Dr. Stellar, Vita-Man, Robo-Hood, The Badge and Stars 'n' Stripes. Red Hot Comics drew the most attention after fans saw the blown-up image in Big Bang #0. Many requests were sent in to see Robo-Hood and Vita-Man in action. Stars 'n' Stripes, however, have never appeared since.
Star Studded Comics Mentioned as being the origin of Dr. Weird. The title suggests Star-Spangled Comics, although the lettering seems to be a reference to All Star Comics.
Thunder Girl Adventures Thunder Girl's solo title, based loosely on the old Fawcett Comics character Mary Marvel, with elements of Wonder Girl thrown in.

Big Bang characters[edit]

Some of the iconic characters in the Big Bang Universe (with links to their individual articles) include:

Superhero teams in the Big Bang Universe include the Round Table of America, the Knights of Justice, the Pantheon of Heroes, and the Whiz Kids.

Other media[edit]

A TV Movie of the Knights of Justice was made in 2000. Although it featured the Golden Age versions of Ultiman and Thunder Girl and used the name of the company's Golden Age superteam, the team also included Knight Watchman and a heroine called Masker (who appeared in BB #21), both of whom are exclusively Silver Age heroes in the published version of the universe. The team's mission was to defeat a supervillain and prove their usefulness to the President or face being disbanded.

The movie is loosely based on the hyperactive Saturday-morning shows of the 1970s that combined special effects with live action, yielding a clearly Silver Age feel to the action. It received several favorable reviews from various websites across the Internet.

The movie is available exclusively from the Big Bang Comics website. It is unclear if any sales will be made abroad despite periodic requests for it to be sold in the UK.

Big Bang Comics RPG[edit]

A pen-and-paper roleplaying game has also been released for Big Bang Comics (Pisces All Media, 2006). The Big Bang Comics RPG uses a streamlined version of the D20 system.

External links[edit]